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Valentine’s Cake (Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream, Strawberries, and Chocolate Ganache)

Valentines Cake

O yeah, I am just putting it out there.  Make this cake for your Valentine.  Today or any day of the year.  They will thank you.  My husband’s second piece yesterday was all the thanks I needed.

Valentines Cake1

Chocolate cake.  You saw a wonderful chocolate cake up on this blog yesterday.  Here is a completely different one but with some of the same components and it makes for a completely different cake.  There are a couple of things that, no matter what the recipe, must be in my chocolate cake.

1. Buttermilk (I discovered this little gem in my Cake Doctor days)

2. Coffee or espresso powder (just DO it)

This particular recipe had both and it also had cake flour!  It just kept getting better and better…

First layer of strawberry filling...

First layer of strawberry filling…

So, I broke down and made it for my aunt’s birthday a few weeks ago and paired it with Joy’s Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.  My aunt was in heaven!  And I was impressed that with how light and perfect this cake was, it held up to travel, a sturdy frosting, and a baker who forgot to use wax paper in her cake pans when she was greasing. (OK, it did kinda fall apart upon cutting because of that last part but it made it there and tasted wonderful.)

I knew I would be making this cake again.  But in what capacity?  Hmm…

The only other cake that I ever dreamt about and just had to get up the next day and make it was this one.  So I took my inspiration from there.  I switched the chocolate whipped cream for vanilla.  Since I was going to use less strawberries on the cake I made sure to cram a few extra into the filling.  The chocolate ganache is just a bonus.

My GeekyLink today is iGameMom.  She writes reviews and recommendations for educational children’s apps.  I love this site and have been following it for a long time and have found many an app through her.  My 9 year old even won a science experiment kit from the site.  Well, guess what?  I am going to begin reviewing apps for her as a guest blogger!  I think this is gonna be pretty cool.

Valentines Cake2

Now go make some cake!

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Late to the New Year’s Party (Top 5 Recipes of 2012)

In between the Christmas aftermath and my son’s birthday four days later and New Year’s Eve two days after that, you can imagine the last week being VERY busy.  We were going to do a smallish Chuck E Cheese thing for my son with cake at the house after and then that turned into not doing anything and then that evolved to a big party at our home.  Whatever.  I have three kids worth of Christmas presents to put away and a house to finish organizing today.  Luckily I have stayed away from my computer and I do have most of the stuff done but today is the last day and I am organizing the garage and making the comprehensive grocery store list for food prep and cupcake making tomorrow.

While I may not have been writing anything I have certainly been reading a few blogs here and there.  I am late with my Sundays with Joy for last week.  I have baked Mommom’s Chocolate Bourbon Spiked Banana Bread and it is FANTASTIC!  I can’t get my son to stop eating it.  I just haven’t had the time to take pictures or the time I have is after the son has gone down.  This Sunday is our last week off for our holiday schedule and I shouldn’t have much of a problem getting it to you by then.  I also missed posting on New Year’s when everyone posts their tops for the year.  That was something I really wanted to do.

I do have a disclaimer though.  These are the top posts FROM 2012.  My top post for the year was actually from 2011, back when my pictures were yucky.  Let’s keep it interesting and go backwards shall we…?

5. Cream Cheese Wontons

Cream Cheese Wontons-NerdyBaker

Now I am not a fan of remaking things that I have made for my previous Oscar “parties” but this one was SUCH a hit with my friends, I may not have a choice.  Also, if you are a fan of Pick Up Stix Cream Cheese Wontons I have cracked the code people!  I have cracked the code!!!

4. Nutella Banana Cream Pie

Nutella Banana Cream Pie-NerdyBaker

Do I really have to go into it?

3. Apple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Wontons

Apple Cream Cheese Wontons-NerdyBaker

This was my attempt at making a sweet version of the Cream Cheese Wontons, and it worked so well it beat out the savory one in views.  Don’t forget the caramel dipping sauce!  Is it bad that next time I make them, I want to fry them?

2. Chocolate Cake with Strawberries and Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

Chocolate Cake Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting-NerdyBaker.wordpress.com

This came with just wanting to make a cake one day.  The family called for a short notice get together so I changed the whipped cream to chocolate whipped cream and I couldn’t have been happier.  I would LOVE to make this again just to get prettier pictures of it…and then EAT ALL THE CAKE!

1. Tea, Earl Grey, Cupcakes with Lemon Scented Whipped Cream

Earl Grey Cupcakes-NerdyBaker.wordpress.com

Proving that the Wheatons win at everything, my #1 post for this year is something I made for Anne Wheaton and other humans that like to order their tea with the line “Tea, Earl Grey, hot” made famous by my FAVORITE (deal with it, Justin!) Captain Picard during the show run of Star Trek: TNG.  Along with the batter from Joy’s Avocado Pound Cake this batter (although I know I shouldn’t encourage it) wins the award for most likely to disappear before baking.

For my GeekyLinks today, we will keep with the Wheaton theme.  This was tweeted by Ryan Wheaton the other day and I thought it was pretty cool, a Back to the Future/Doctor Who mash-up.  The next is about how Wil Wheaton’s Web show brings people togetherTableTop, his You Tube show on the Geek and Sundry channel.  I rewatched the Ticket to Ride episode with my 9 year old the other day (yay for You Tube on the Wii!) and when THAT PART happens (if you’ve seen it, you know what I mean) the kid was in stitches!  Plus it was a game she loves on my iPod touch and that we play together when we can.  I still have yet to buy it in non digital form.

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